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Covid-Based Layoffs Lawsuit Free From ‘Natural Disaster’ Defense

March 18, 2022, 5:14 PM

Scribe Opco Inc. was unsuccessful in using the WARN Act’s “natural disaster” exception in a former employee’s class lawsuit alleging he and hundreds of other workers were laid off at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic without proper advance notice, a federal judge in Tampa ruled.

Eric Jones’ December 2020 suit raises issues that are on appeal before the Fifth Circuit, and had been before the Eleventh Circuit: whether Covid-19 is a natural disaster and whether it needs to have directly caused a workforce reduction to qualify for the natural disaster exception to a suit under the Worker ...